Time Travel Views

   

 

We are long-time fans of time travel stories as writers, readers and viewers. Trish has written three time travel novels, Running Time, Kill Time, and Black Water. My time travel novel is called Romancing the Raven. As readers, Trish and I both think that Time and Again by Jack Finney is perhaps the best time travel story ever written. As viewers, in recent months, we’ve watched two television series recently that feature time travel—Travelers and Timeless.

Travelers, a Netflix series, is a post-apocalyptic tale, in which teams of travelers come back from the 24th century and attempt to alter some events that will change their history and save the world. It’s an unusual time travel story in that it takes place in our present! The time travelers come to us. Very tricky. They take over the bodies of people who they know are about to die. The team leader, for example, takes over the body of an FBI agent who was about to meet his end on a case. So these folks from the future have to fit into the lives that their new bodies were living. That, of course, leads to some interesting scenarios.

The travelers apparently are never going home. They’re stuck in these bodies. Their rules include: Never jeopardize your cover. Do not call each other by future names—”Leave the future in the past.” Do not use future knowledge for personal gain. Don’t take a life; don’t save a life, unless otherwise directed.

The other TV series, which is on NBC, is Timeless. It’s more of a traditional time travel story with a time travel machine taking them to significant past events—a trip through history. So we meet famous people and view famous incidents, such as the explosion of the Hindenburg, the assassination of Lincoln, the fall of the Alamo, the Watergate scandal, Charles Lindburgh’s cross-Atlantic flight.

Of course, there’s a purpose to these journeys. Someone has stolen a time machine and is attempting to change history. So while the travelers from the future in Travelers attempts to change the past (our time), in Timeless the time travelers are attempting to prevent the group in control of one of the time machines from altering the past, which would change the world and their own lives. In Travelers, the nemesis is another group from the future aligned with a different power base with different interests.

In both series, the time travelers live communally in dinghy warehouses equipped with really advanced computers. Both series have some flaws, which can be overlooked by letting go of your sense of disbelief. For example, in Timeless there’s an annoying telescoping of time after they arrive at a new time frame and abandon their time travel vessel. We never see how they get from the rural, isolated areas where they usually arrive, to the city or place of action. They often arrive in 21st century street clothes, but then must go and buy new duds. We never see how they pull that off.

In Travelers, the shortcoming is how these people from the future manage to adjust not only to the 21st century sensibilities, but how they are able to fit into their new families and jobs without betraying who they really are. We manage to overlook these lapses in storytelling and enjoy the episodes.

Time travel fascinates. There’s no doubt about it. Another TV series we enjoyed—at least for two seasons—was Outlander which is set in Scotland. But, for me, what’s even more fascinating and mind-boggling than any of these shows is a story of true time travel.

If we are to believe former Coast Guardman, John Murphy of North Carolina and his friend Barbara. Those two seemingly moved back in time nearly 200 years for at least two hours in 1964 on the island of Bermuda. Their story is summarized here. It’s also included in detail in our book, Beyond Strange: True Tales of Alien Encounters and Paranormal Mysteries. 

Unlike time travel in those two TV series, John and Barbara required no advanced technological device to move them back. Yet, somehow they walked through a window in time,  and into a 18th century village and out again, only later to discover that the village no longer exists, that it was destroyed in the so-called Great Hurricane of 1780. It’s hard to imagine that this pair would make up the story, especially since they had lost contact shortly after the incident for more than four decades and Barbara had no idea that the village didn’t exist until John asked her in 2008 if she recalled walking into that village with him.  She did, and then was told the rest of the story.

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12 Responses to Time Travel Views

  1. Laurence Zankowski says:

    There’s that doc / story, might be on YouTube, about 2 couples traveling thru Wales, only to end up in a country inn that was from an earlier time. Very strange story, with the couples going back to try and find it. They did not make this up. And the movie Brigadoon. Actually enjoyed watching Travelers. Sens8 is on my watch list. You all need to watch “Dark” on Netflix. Talk about messing with your mind about time… the tag line

    “When are you” or the poster “ the question is not where are you but when”

    Watched it immediately after binging on Stranger Things .

    Which leads to that Vatican device the “chronovisor” if I remember was taking from its inventor. Is it wormwood?

    Be well

    Laurence

  2. Dale Dassel says:

    Today the latest news confirmed that Timeless will not be continuing on another network because they couldn’t find a buyer for the show. Even worse, the actors’ contracts have now expired, necessitating renewal in order to film the proposed finale movie to wrap up the show, which would be cost prohibitive to the network. Without some spectacularly good fortune, Timeless is (regrettably) finished. The only way I can see any kind of resolution is a novel based on the screenplay for the unmade movie, similar to the recently published Jurassic World prequel novel.

    This is really disappointing, because I really loved that show. We tuned in faithfully from the very first episode of Season 1 to the finale of Season 2, and enjoyed every minute of it. So sad when good things come to an end. 🙁

    • Trish and Rob says:

      We loved it too. Boo and hiss for the cancellation. I don’t get it.

      • Dale Dassel says:

        In a nutshell, the expense of producing a time travel show featuring special effects and a different historical period every episode, to lukewarm ratings wasn’t a good investment for NBC, which brought Timeless back from cancellation after massive fan support. We were lucky to get a second season, but a third one just wasn’t in the cards, unfortunately.

        • Trish and Rob says:

          I still don’t get it. What was there in the show NOT to like??

        • Sheila Joshi says:

          I’ve signed two petitions to #SaveTimeless. And I tried to post reviews on the two seasons on Amazon, in the hope that Amazon will pick it up. And Amazon cavalierly deleted my reviews without informing me of why. And I spent half an hour on the phone — possibly to India — trying to get an answer. And they swore they were simply dying to make me feel helped and would get back to me within 24 hours and they haven’t. Argh! All the shows I like get cancelled. All the shows I like are *different* and not formulaic. Wonderful ensemble chemistry. Really interesting exploration of free will v. destiny. Very good production values — I thought that looked expensive, Dale!

          • Trish and Rob says:

            Wow! A delete? Very weird.
            I suspect you, Dale, and Rob and me could sit around watching our favorite shows and they shows would be along the lines of timeless…I loved Sense8 for its weirdness, its daring…is exploration of psychic stuff. Cancelled.

  3. Ed says:

    Enjoy both of these shows! Good writing, good characters, great concept!